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Commercial Real Estate
Business Observer Friday, Sep. 28, 2018 1 year ago

Alexander at Countryside sells for $69.3 million

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Clearwater apartment deal ranks among tops in Pinellas this year
by: Kevin McQuaid Commercial Real Estate Editor

In one of the largest multifamily rental sales of 2018 in Pinellas County, an Ohio-based group has purchased the new Alexander at Countryside apartment complex in Clearwater for $69.3 million.

GL Countryside LLC, RB Countryside LLC, RL Countryside LLC and RL Wexford 1 Ltd. Partnership — a group comprising attorney Gary Lieberman and Robert Brehmer of Ohio and Robert Levin, of Pennsylvania, according to state records — bought the 330-unit complex from its developer, an affiliate of Alexander Investments International Inc., of Winter Park.

Alexander Investments, which was formed in 2014, bought the land for the 2524 Alexander Place apartments in April 2016 for $10 million, records show.

The complex, which was completed earlier this year, boasts amenities such as a “moveable kitchen island” and a “community pizza oven,” also contains more conventional amenities such as a pair of fitness centers with CrossFit machines in them.

“We found the location to be very attractive,” Lieberman says. “There’s close proximity to shopping, and it’s a pretty easy commute to downtown Tampa. And the property itself is highly amenitized — it’s gorgeous. There’s a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pair of resort-style swimming pools, a fire pit and beautiful common areas.

Lieberman adds the same group of investors also acquired the 286-unit Alexander at Sabal apartments, also from Alexander investments, in Longwood.

Rents in Alexander at Countryside range from $1,270 monthly to $2,395 per month.

Kyle Riva, Alexander Investments’ president and CEO, says he developed the complex with the idea of selling it upon completion.

“We had originally intended to hold the property a bit longer than we did, but we found the buyer appetite was more voracious than we anticipated, and it was a good time to sell. We got a good price.”

But amid that “voracious” buyer appetite, Riva also is finding it difficult to find “good” sites suitable for multifamily development.

“There’s a lot of competition out there now, and the properties that make financial sense — and many don’t — often have a lot of buyers chasing them,” he says. “And coupled with that, commodity and labor costs have gotten so high it’s hard to make projects pencil out.”

Riva’s comments are corroborated by a recent report by commercial real estate brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield that notes new supply is abundant, especially in the Tampa Bay area.

Thus far this year, the Tampa Bay area has added 3,277 new multifamily rental units — more than all the new apartments added in Tampa Bay, Orlando and Jacksonville in all of 2017.

In all, there are 49 new complexes containing 12,656 apartments under construction throughout the region, the report indicates.

Cushman & Wakefield says the new supply has pushed prices in 2018 down by 7.6% — even as prices per unit have hit record high, at $132,519.

Still, the firm expects apartment deals to continue apace, the result of high occupancy rates in Tampa Bay, at 95.7% as of June 30, together with robust population growth and corporate relocations.

By 2023, another 30,000 residents are projected to call the Tampa Bay area home.

“Buyer demand in these high-growth markets will remain elevated even as borrowing costs increase,” Cushman & Wakefield notes.

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